From starting a business above a pub straight out of university back in 2011 to becoming an award-winning content agency with a team of 13, it’s safe to say we have learnt a few lessons over the years. So, we thought we would share our advice for startup companies.
- Get a clear idea of your objectives
What is it that you’re selling? What do you want to achieve? Whatever it is, write it down and plan a strategy for achieving it. It’s also key (and slightly cheesy) to ensure that whatever your objectives are, they are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
- Get on the cloud
Cloud-based technology could be your biggest saviour. Cloud sharing software, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, enable you to share files easily, and Drive also enables multiple edits to occur on live documents. This is a huge help in getting you and your team to work collaboratively in a smart way. You can even manage your finances using cloud accounting software.
- Meet people
One of the main reasons for our early success was the referral work we were receiving, meaning we could save time trying to find work. This was mainly due to us attending many networking events and getting out in the Manchester community to not only share our brand but also to help others.
- Manage relationships
There’s no point in networking if you aren’t going to do something with the information. When you’ve met someone new, add them to a CRM system so you can continue to manage and nurture that relationship. Also, as you add people to your CRM, start to segment them, so you can use their information the most effective way when marketing. There are many systems out there, and one we recommend is Capsule.
- Think about the finer details
It’s fine as you start out and you’re a one-man band, but as you start hiring employees and growing, that’s when you’re going to need contracts, terms and policies. If you don’t have a HR manager then software like Charliehr is a great way for you to easily manage payroll documents, staff holidays and sickness and more.
- Someone to help pay for the party
Finally, as a business you’re going to have a lot of outgoings and (hopefully) incomings, so you need to make sure you’ve got a good accountant or accountancy software to help you manage your finances.
- Make the most of social media
It goes without saying that as a creative social content agency, we are very focused on social media. But, when starting a business, social media is an effective way to get your brand out there and differentiate yourself from competitors. With this, make sure you utilize Facebook, Instagram and Twitter’s free analytics, or for better social account management, there are a variety of software out there that offer deeper analysis, such as Sprout Social and Onlypult.
These are just some of the basics and, of course, there are many more. So please feel free to share your tips and advice for new businesses!